COMING UP: The Arizona women’s basketball team (6-2) plays its final home game of 2004 at 7 p.m. this Thursday, Dec. 16, against UC Santa Barbara (2-2). Live video, audio and stats of the game are available at www.arizonaathletics.com. The game will also be broadcast live on KJLL 1330 AM in Tucson.
A QUICK LOOK AT THE WILDCATS: Arizona committed 23 fouls to the Lady Bulldogs’ 16 in a 70-62 loss at No. 11/14 Georgia in Stegeman Coliseum Sunday. The Wildcats shot 39 percent both from the field and from three-point range, but just 54 percent from the free throw line on the game. Georgia connected on 46 percent from the field and 87 percent from the charity stripe, though it failed to make a three-pointer. The Lady Bulldogs also out-rebounded the Wildcats 38 to 33. Senior Dee-Dee Wheeler led the Wildcats with 16 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals. Junior Natalie Jones added 10 points and three assists. Junior center Shawntinice Polk finished with 11 points, six rebounds, four assists and two blocks in just 22 minutes of play.
On the season, the Wildcats are led by Wheeler, who averages 15.6 points, 4.9 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 3.0 steals per game. Polk adds 14.0 points, 8.9 rebounds and 3.1 blocks per game, while Jones averages 10.1 points and 5.4 rebounds. As a team, Arizona is out-shooting its opponents 46 percent to 35 percent and out-rebounding them 40.5 to 35.1.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION: UC Santa Barbara, which hasn’t played since Dec. 5, ended its two-game losing skid with a 76-71 victory over Oregon State. The Gauchos shot a season-high 51 percent from the field on the game, but were out-rebounded 35 to 34 by the Beavers. For the second straight contest, Kristen Mann tallied 20 points while sinking 9-of-17 shots from the floor. The senior forward from Santa Ana, Calif., has led or tied for the team lead in scoring in all four games this season. Karena Bonds and senior center Kate Bauman each recorded new career highs with 13 and 11 points, respectively, while senior guard Mia Fisher contributed 12. Freshman forward Tiffany Decker led all players with eight rebounds.
On the season, the Gauchos are led by Mann, who averages 13.7 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. Fisher adds 9.8 points, while Ana Onaindia averages 9.0 points per game. Jenna Green, the team’s second leading scorer, suffered a torn MCL against Purdue on Dec. 3. As a team, UC Santa Barbara is shooting 44 percent from the field and out-rebounding opponents 38.5 to 35.0.
SERIES SHORTS: Arizona leads the all-time series with UC Santa Barbara 6-5. The last time the two teams met, on Nov. 25, 2003, Arizona fell 75-65 in Santa Barbara. Arizona is 3-3 at home and 3-2 away vs. the Gauchos.
RANKING IN THE PAC-10: The Wildcats currently lead the Pacific-10 in blocked shots (4.9) and defensive rebounds (25.6), rank second in field goal percentage defense (.354), third in scoring offense (74.4), rebounding offense (40.5) and rebounding margin (5.4), fourth in field goal percentage (.464), fifth in scoring margin (13.9), scoring defense (60.5), rebounding defense (35.1), turnover margin (4.1) and offensive rebounds (14.9).
Individually, Dee-Dee Wheeler ranks second in assist/turnover ratio, third in steals, fourth in scoring and assists, and ninth in minutes played. Shawntinice Polk leads the league in rebounding, blocked shots and defensive rebounds, ranks fifth in field goal percentage and seventh in scoring. Natalie Jones ranks eighth in offensive rebounds and 14th in rebounding, while Jessica Arnold is ninth in three-point field goals made.
RANKING NATIONALLY: As a team, Arizona ranks 25th nationally in field goal percentage (.464), 30th in scoring offense (74.4), 38th in field goal percentage defense (.354), 41st in both scoring margin (13.9) and blocked shots (4.9), and 48th in won-lost percentage (.750).
Individually, junior Shawntinice Polk ranks 11th in blocked shots per game (3.1) and 20th in field goal percentage (.603). Senior Dee-Dee Wheeler ranks 47th in steals per game (3.0).
HOME WIN STREAK STANDS AT 32: The Cats have won 32 games in a row at home, the second longest streak in the nation behind Texas (39). The last time the Wildcats were defeated at home was Nov. 22, 2002, when they lost the 2002-03 season opener in overtime to Louisiana State, 78-71. Arizona went on to win its final 13 homes games during the 2002-03 season, and won all 14 games at McKale last year.
WILDCATS RANK NATIONALLY IN ATTENDANCE: Arizona currently ranks 30th nationally in attendance with an average attendance of 1,891. Connecticut is the leader with a 13,231 average, while Pac-10 opponents Washington and Stanford rank 23rd and 25th, respectively, at 3,023 and 2,916.
WILDCAT FRESHMEN SEEING LOTS OF PLAYING TIME: Arizona’s four freshmen - Jessica Arnold, Ch?© Oh, Chari Smith and Ashley Whisonant - are making their presence felt. In Arizona’s eight games this season, the foursome have accounted for 35 percent (559 of 1600) of the team’s minutes and 28 percent (166 of 595) of the team’s points.
WHEELER PLAYS IN 100TH GAME: When she took the court in Athens, Ga., last Sunday, point guard Dee-Dee Wheeler was playing the 100th game of her career. The senior has started in 95 of her career’s 100 games.
POLKEY RANKS NINTH IN CAREER SCORING: With her lay-up at the 12:30 mark in the second half last Sunday at Georgia, junior Shawntinice Polk moved into a tie for ninth place all-time at the UA in scoring. The center now has 1,199 career points, the same career total as Lisa Griffith, who played at Arizona from 1997-2000.
WHEELER’S SCORING STREAK CONTINUES: Point guard Dee-Dee Wheeler has scored 10 or more points in 41 consecutive games. The last time the Chicago native failed to reach double digits in the scoring column was March 23, 2003, when she had seven points in a loss to Notre Dame. The senior has scored 10 or more points in 88 of her 100 career games.
JONES ON A ROLL: Junior guard Natalie Jones has stepped up her scoring production over the last five games. After averaging just 6.0 points per game in the first three games, Jones has reached double-digit scoring in each of the last five games to move her season average to 10.1.
LINDNER LIGHTING IT UP: After being held scoreless in the first three games of the season and not playing at BYU, senior Katrina Lindner has scored 30 points over the last four games for a 7.5 average. During that time, the Australian has made 10-of-19 (53 percent) of her shots from the field, including 6-of-12 from downtown.
80 IS THE MAGIC NUMBER: In the 33-year history of Arizona women’s basketball, when the Wildcats reach 80 points, they are almost guaranteed a win. Arizona is 158-20 (89 percent) all-time when reaching the 80-point plateau. Since Joan Bonvicini’s arrival in 1991, the Wildcats are 119-13 (90 percent) when scoring 80 points or more. This year alone, Arizona is 3-0 in games where it has reached 80 points in the scoring column.
DOUBLE-DOUBLE TROUBLE: During her career, junior Shawntinice Polk has recorded 40 double-doubles (21 as a freshman, 16 as a sophomore and three as a junior). The longest streak came at the start of her career, when she opened the 2002-03 season with eight consecutive double-doubles. During her three seasons, the Wildcats are 30-10 when Polk notches a double-double.
CURRENT CATS ON UA CAREER LISTS: Senior guard Dee-Dee Wheeler is second in field goals made (597), field goals attempted (1,297) and minutes played average (32.1), third in scoring (1,527) and steals (238), fourth in scoring average (15.3), three-point field goals made (140) and three-point field goals attempted (403), sixth in games started (95), seventh in three-point field goal percentage (.347), eighth in assists (371) and total minutes played (3,205) and ninth in free throw percentage (.737).
Junior Shawntinice Polk is first in double-doubles (40), blocks (185), rebounding average (10.3) and field goal percentage (.591), second in total rebounds (745), third in scoring average (16.7), sixth in field goals made (495) and free throws attempted (376), seventh in minutes played average (29.1) and tied for ninth in scoring (1,199).
WILDCATS ON THE RADIO: All of Arizona’s games this season will be broadcast on Tucson’s Jolt, KJLL 1330 AM, the radio home of Arizona women’s basketball. With Paul Johnson returning for his 10th year as the Wildcats’ play-by-play announcer, the Jolt will broadcast every game, home and away.
WILDCATS ON TELEVISION: The Wildcats have three games this season that will be broadcast on FSN:
Sunday, Jan. 9 - 2:30 p.m. vs. Stanford
Saturday, Jan. 29 - 4 p.m. vs. Maryland (FSN)
Saturday, Feb. 19 - 2 p.m. at Oregon (FSN)
In addition, the Wildcats’ home games against Southern California (Feb. 12) and Washington (Feb. 26) are "wild card" games that could get picked up in the Pac-10 television package with FSN.
UP NEXT: Arizona travels to Chicago, the hometown of senior Dee-Dee Wheeler, for a 2 p.m. game at Chicago State this Sunday, Dec. 19.